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Nearly there! Grab a few tops that keep your belly covered and comfy, and find something soft and special to pack in your hospital bag (you deserve it!). Now’s the time to invest in a few nursing essentials, you’ll be glad you did.
Hone in on the home stretch with these maternity must-haves and nursing needs.
Macrame Maternity Workout Legging with Crossover Panel®
A mama must-have, supporting you from bump to baby.
The end can be so uncomfortable. But you are almost there! Use the Bellaband® for added support and an extra layer of coverage, as the tops you’ve been living in the last six weeks get even shorter to accommodate your ever-growing bump.
Taking care of (baby) business.
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Sep 7, 2018 | Health
Bay Area Chef Tana J Duncan breaks down how to meal prep in 6 easy steps. Save your family time and money and learn the basics.
Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness
When those first contractions hit, you know what you don’t want to be thinking about? YouTubing car seat installation tutorials or finding someone to feed the dog while you’re away from home. Going into labor just doesn’t leave much space in your brain for those kinds of details, so it’s best to tackle logistics beforehand—the peace of mind is worth it! Even if you’re a master procrastinator, your baby might not be, so giving yourself a deadline for these tasks at least two weeks before your due date is a great goal to have. And you know what? The world won’t end if you don’t get everything squared away before delivery. You’ll just figure it out on the go, which is a good taste of new parenthood anyway.
But here’s a helpful checklist so you’ll know what to do (or at least be aware of what you’re not doing—the fewer surprises the better!).
This one is the easiest to put off, but unless you want to end up in the maternity ward without your favorite robe and nothing but hospital soap to wash your post-delivery face with, you might want to make it a priority. You don’t need much, just the essentials and whatever else will make you feel comfortable and at ease, whether it’s a snuggly pair of socks, or your favorite rosewater face mist. Check out our hospital bag checklist here, for suggestions.
Hang out in a hospital parking lot long enough, and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll spot a flustered partner checking and re-checking the infant car seat they’ve just installed. It doesn’t have to be this way! Install your car seat ahead of time (don’t forget the newborn insert!), and you can ensure that it’s all buckled and secured exactly as it should be, for the safest transport of your baby’s first ride.
If you want to see a few offices and meet a handful of doctors in order to choose the one that feels right for you and your family, this might take a bit longer than you think. Many pediatricians hold open houses at particular times, or you can schedule individual appointments. Throw in the question of insurance coverage, and you might need more than one first choice. But taking the time to choose one beforehand will mean the first doctor your baby sees right after delivery will be someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
Maybe you packed your hospital bag and installed the car seat, but when you get home with baby realize you have nothing clean to put this sweet newborn in! Be sure to wash your crib sheets, bath towels, and newborn clothes beforehand, so that doing laundry isn’t the way you spend your first day at home.
News travels fast, especially when it’s this good! But you and your partner don’t want to be the ones having to share it with everyone when you’re recovering from delivery, figuring out breastfeeding, and basically making constant heart eyes at the tiny human you’ve just met. Tell the few people closest to you, and designate a point person or two that can communicate to the rest of your friends and family members. This is also a good time to think about who you want in the delivery room with you (if anyone!), and who you’ll want to see just after birth, ’cause pretty much everyone is going to want to see you, but that doesn’t mean you have to roll out the welcome wagon.
If you have any pets, any other children, or even any houseplants that you’ll need caring for while you’re away from home, designate someone who can be on call and ready to step up when the time comes. In fact, designate two people, so you have a backup if necessary. Make sure each person has a key to your house ahead of time, and all the instructions they’ll need.
If there’s one thing most new mamas are, it’s famished. Labor and delivery is grueling work, and constantly breastfeeding a newborn means you’ll need all the sustenance you can get. Rather than putting your favorite takeout spot on speed dial, set up a meal train beforehand, that can kick in as soon as you get home. Your friends and family will want to help, and this is the perfect way for you to get fed, and for them to support you.
The big day is approaching, are you ready mama? We've got a guide to help you get from hospital to home! Read more to create your birth plan!
Jul 28, 2019 | Social
Sep 10, 2018 | Preparedness
It can seem like just as soon as you start to get the hang of new motherhood, it’s time to go back to work, which can present a whole new learning curve—especially if you’ve been breastfeeding and want to keep doing so. But with a little planning and know-how, you can totally do it mama! Pumping is a labor of love, and I think you are making a great choice, for both you and your baby—one that you will never regret. As a lactation consultant who’s supported numerous moms as they return to work, I’ve put together answers to the most frequently asked questions to help make it a little easier for you, too.
A: There is a common misconception that you need a huge “milk stash” saved for when you return to work. This can be stressful if you’re not pumping a ton beyond your baby’s immediate needs. Have no fear! That 100-ounce stash you may have seen recommend elsewhere online is not a necessity. Realistically you only need about two days’ worth of milk to be on the safe side. Though it depends on their weight, if your baby is 3 to 6 months old, they will most likely need 3 to 4 ounces every 2 to 3 hours. This means that if you’re away at work for eight hours, you will need about 24 ounces in your ‘stash’ to get you through that first day of work, with a little emergency backup. To prep, start pumping once a day after your first morning feed, about one month before returning to work (avoid pumping in the first 6 weeks postpartum so as not to mess with your milk supply). Don’t worry if you are only pumping 1 ounce at a time—save it in the fridge until you collect about 3 to 4 ounces then pop it in the freezer!
A: This can seem daunting, but it’s actually very simple. If your baby is eating every 2 to 3 hours, pump every 2 to 3 hours. You don’t need to pump at the same time your baby eats every day—if your baby eats at 9:30 a.m. and you can’t get out of a meeting until 10:30 a.m., that’s ok. The same goes if your pumping times change based on your day’s work schedule—don’t stress! Here’s the best rule of thumb to keep in mind: If baby is eating three times while away from you, try and get three pumping sessions in. If you are making way more milk than baby needs, and freezing milk that is not being used, you can try cutting out a pumping session, just be careful to assess your supply. If you notice a dip, add that pumping session back in.
A: The short answer is no! The long answer is that fresh breast milk contains the most valuable nutrients, so feed your baby fresh milk first. On Monday (or your first day of work for the week) feed your baby the oldest milk in the fridge. On Tuesday offer them Monday’s pumped milk (no need to freeze), on Wednesday offer Tuesday’s pumped milk (no need to freeze), and so on. On Friday (or your last day of work for the week), put that pumped milk in the freezer. Voila, you now have a pro-pumping-breastfeeding-badass-mama schedule!
A: Washing pump parts can be a pain. Nobody wants to clean a pump more than once a day, so my recommendation is to throw the milk and all the pumping parts in the fridge after you are done pumping. This means you only need to wash your pumping parts when you get home at night. When it comes to storing, have milk storage bags with you and place the full ones in the fridge at work towards the back. Depending on the length of your commute, you may want to bring a small, insulated lunch bag for transporting your milk home, but if it’s not a long trip or drive, you can do without. Keep things as simple as possible! For more detailed milk storage guidelines, click here.
A: The amount of milk a baby needs is based on their age and their weight. In the United States moms typically return to work between 3 and 6 months postpartum, which means babies that age need about 3 to 4 ounces per feed. Breastfed babies tend to top off at 4 ounces around 5 to 6 months of age, and rarely need more than that at one feeding. Consider visiting a breastfeeding support group or a lactation consultant in your area to get your baby’s accurate weight, a weighted feed, and to discuss the amount needed for your baby. Sometimes babies take milk faster from a bottle than they do from the breast, which can lead to that baby’s tummy not having enough time to tell its brain that they are full. To prevent this from happening, keep your bottle nipple at a size 1 (rarely do breastfed babies need to go above this level).
Another helpful tip for preventing baby from being overfed with the bottle is to practice paced bottle feeding, which more closely mimics breastfeeding. Find more information about it here. Don’t be afraid to advocate for this even when working with seasoned caregivers and daycare centers!
A: Regulations vary from state to state, but most workplaces are required to be supportive of new moms and their need to pump, including service industry jobs. If your company has a Human Resources department, set up a meeting with an HR representative and your manager (or only your manager if there is no dedicated HR department) to discuss how often you’ll need to pump, to designate a private space where you can do so as well as where you can store your pumped milk if a break room fridge is not available. For more information about your working mama rights, visit the Thrive Momma resources page here.
For more information on going back to work, if you have questions, or if you just need to be reminded that you are capable of doing hard things, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit my website for upcoming online classes that cover this topic!
Jun 27, 2018 | What To Wear
As your belly grows, it presses outward on the Crossover Panel. The bigger you get, the more support you receive.
Jul 26, 2019 | collection:nursing | What To Wear
Jul 28, 2019 | collection:hospital-essentials | Preparedness